Thursday, May 24, 2018
Business

Career Q&A: Relationships key to management's overhaul attempt

Q: Several months ago, I was hired to turn around a department which was not meeting expectations. Although the staff seemed to agree that change was needed, they apparently don't like having an outsider in charge. Many old-school employees are resisting new ideas, and even my direct reports have begun to act disrespectful.

While my boss agrees with the plans for transforming operations, he dislikes confrontation and is unwilling to help me win people over if it means having firm conversations. I am apparently expected to get everyone to embrace these changes on my own. Do I have any hope of succeeding?

A: Like many managers engaged in organizational re-engineering, you have now learned that revising plans, policies, and structures is often the easy part. The more difficult assignment is getting existing employees to view things differently and modify established habits.

Wise leaders understand that ordering people to accept change seldom works. While "firm conversations" may be required with those who are recalcitrant, using an authoritarian approach too quickly will only increase resistance. Given the reaction you describe, this may be the source of your problem with the staff.

At this point, you are undoubtedly feeling great pressure to produce results. Under those circumstances, newly hired managers frequently make the mistake of focusing solely on tasks and overlooking the need to build relationships. As a result, employees begin to view them as aloof and disruptive instead of informed and helpful.

Having established the new direction, you must now guide employees through the process of adapting. Start by doing less talking and more listening, especially with your direct reports. Avoid gripe sessions by asking for input on specific implementation strategies. You may be surprised by how much you learn about potential roadblocks and resource gaps.

To demonstrate your boss' support for the plan, invite him to join you in these discussion sessions. While he may not be much help with tough talks, he could be quite useful in convincing people of the need for a shift in strategy.

How to deal with inequities at work

Q: My co-worker was allowed to take paid time off after using up all her leave days. This seems very unfair, since I try to manage my time well and only use leave when necessary. I expressed my opinion to management, but nothing happened. I would appreciate some advice on how to get over this, because I'm finding it hard to accept.

A: When inequities occur, employees have three choices: take action to fix the problem, acknowledge that life isn't always fair, or go nuts obsessing about it. By raising the issue with management, you have exhausted option one. Now you appear to be stuck on option three, but for your own peace of mind, you really need to let this go.

To reduce your resentment, remind yourself that we often have no idea what's happening in our co-workers' personal lives. This woman may very well have difficult circumstances which management can't discuss with you. If so, the apparent unfairness might actually represent a compassionate exception to the rules.

Comments
Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

TAMPA ó Joe Capitano Sr. invested in the 1400 block of E Seventh Avenue in 1985, never doubting the huge potential of the property for Ybor City.But the deal to build a $52 million boutique hotel on the site didnít start to come together until six ye...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Riverview

Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Riverview

RIVERVIEW ó Sprouts Farmers Market is opening a new location in Riverview, the chain announced Thursday. The new store will be located at Summerfield Crossing Shopping Center, though Sprouts did not have a specific opening date.The announcement comes...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa Electric to shut down Big Bend coal unit that killed 5

Tampa Electric to shut down Big Bend coal unit that killed 5

APOLLO BEACH ó Tampa Electric Co. is taking a big step away from coal. The Tampa-based utility is spending $853 million to convert its coal-fired Unit 1 at its Big Bend Power Station to natural gas and retire coal-fired Unit 2 in 2021.Five workers di...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmonís was a meeting place

Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmonís was a meeting place

Itís where former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Doug Williams had lunch with current Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.Itís where University of South Florida fans often gathered to watch the programís biggest road games.Itís where folks showed up in...
Updated: 4 hours ago
An Amazon Echo recorded a familyís conversation, then sent it to a random person in their contacts, report says

An Amazon Echo recorded a familyís conversation, then sent it to a random person in their contacts, report says

A family in Portland, Oregon, received a nightmarish phone call two weeks ago."Unplug your Alexa devices right now," a voice on the other line said. "Youíre being hacked."Apparently, one of Amazon.comís Alexa-powered Echo devices in their house had s...
Updated: 4 hours ago
As home sale prices rise, a lack of homes makes it tough on buyers

As home sale prices rise, a lack of homes makes it tough on buyers

Home sale prices continued to rise both nationally and statewide in April as a prolonged dearth of available homes on the market is making it tough on buyers. A total of 24,804 single-family homes changed hands across Florida last month, up 4.1 perce...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Brink: A 25-cent hike in the federal gas tax is a rotten idea for Florida

Brink: A 25-cent hike in the federal gas tax is a rotten idea for Florida

No matter your politics, the proposed 25-cent hike in the federal gas tax is a lousy idea.Itís regressive, burdening the poor and working class more than the rich.Federal interference with state transportation projects can raise costs, layer on regul...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Tutor looks to empower athletes in Wesley Chapel

Tutor looks to empower athletes in Wesley Chapel

Rashay Hudson operates a tutoring business in Wesley Chapel, and NaDorian Hudson has played basketball his entire life, including in college and the ABA. Now, the husband and wife duo are combining their areas of expertise with a new program for kids...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Bar builder finds solid success in Tampa

Bar builder finds solid success in Tampa

TAMPA ó Ever since he was a little boy, Chris Davenport loved to build things with Legos and erector sets. As he grew older, he spent time working with his dad, a carpenter, and then took welding classes in high school. While in college studying engi...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Metro Diner brings fare to South Tampa

Metro Diner brings fare to South Tampa

Metro Diner, having already established several locations across Florida, including St. Petersburg, now brings its large portion-sized comfort food options across the bay.The local diner is slated to open Tuesday (May 29) at 4011 W Kennedy Blvd and w...
Updated: 9 hours ago